As bodyworkers and massage therapists, we know that we need to GET bodywork to keep GIVING bodywork. But, what else do we need to do that is classified in the realm of “self-care”?
Working with people in the way that we do- touching for prolonged periods of time- makes our self-care a bit more involved and perhaps a little different than you’d think.
There are 3 areas to consider about our bodies when it comes to self-care:
The Scar Tissue Patterns our body creates
Electricity and Salt
Getting frequent bodywork is only part of this equation. But overall, you have to realize that you are using your body as a tool, just like an athlete. You, my friend, are a “massage athlete”.
To keep your body working for you, you need to have a massage no less than 1-2
The last reason to get massage yourself is so that you don’t forget why you do massage. When you don’t receive massage, you start to become needy because your body is wanting the same thing. I personally think the quality of the service you offer goes down when you are in this state.
The rate of injury also increases for you the longer you neglect yourself.
Chronic Scar Tissue Patterns that Occur with Massage Therapists
These muscles are some of the more common pain areas from doing massage for a job- just being a massage therapist makes these areas sore, tender and tired!
Neck- Levator Scapula specifically
Regardless of any other existing issue, your body will begin to build Scar Tissue in these areas FOR SUPPORT to oppose and work with the:
These are unique factors to our profession. What other professions push with their muscles all day and put an enormous amount of weight on their forearms for extended periods of time?
All of these factors occur when you use your hands and mostly your upper body to perform your job. Because of this, I wanted to show you the areas that RESPOND to force and pressure that will commonly and repeatedly build Scar Tissue to allow you to keep doing your massage job.
These blue areas are where the body lays down Scar Tissue to help support you to complete your job. These areas are crucial to incorporate into your regular bodywork routine to help the bodywork you receive be more “preventative” in nature. PPS bodywork can become imperative to your constant recovery from this profession
To find a class on how to work with some of these areas of Scar Tissue, try our “Introduction to PPS Basics” Course as part of our FREE on-line classes inside our training center.
Touching Someone is Electrically Draining
Have you ever finished a day of massage and just felt not only drained, but also depleted physically in an unknown sort of way? This feels exhausting, but you are not necessarily exhausted.
This is a different feeling, like if you could just eat something or drink something you would feel better. We usually end up roaming through the cupboards in the kitchen wondering what we could put into our body that would make us feel better because we know we need “something”!
I know we all think about the energy of working with people. The positive and negative charges that occur between 2 people and also when someone’s body isn’t as healthy as it needs to be, so it drains us. But there is one more factor I wanted to talk about because I think it is highly overlooked: electrical exchange.
We are an electric being touching another electric being and that continued interaction, for an hour, requires salt to moderate that connection. How do I know? Because it took me awhile to figure out exactly what touching people was depleting in me as I was looking for something to make me feel better at the end of the day.
For me- it’s salt. Water at this point actually makes me feel worse although I feel depleted that way too.
The interaction between the therapist and client is also on a simple science level, not just an esoteric level, therefore making the connection you maintain a depletion cycle in a purely physical sense.
It’s a sodium and water issue
You actually need to see if you are losing too much salt (sweating and touching)
Use caution and wisdom- you may or may not need more salt. Only testing it will help you to know.
See if this is you by trying a little more natural sodium like juiced celery
Mild symptoms of salt depletion include a decreased ability to think, headaches, nausea, and poor balance
Being a massage therapist does have some different challenges to it. But with the right knowledge, you can keep your body running in tip-top condition so you can do massage for a very long time.
I hope this article has given you some *NEW* tools to help in your self-care routine. If you don’t have a self-care routine for your body, TODAY is a great time to start!